Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
Consideration was given to a report of the Community Safety Manager which asked the Cabinet to approve the making of the Public Spaces Protection Order relevant to Oldham pursuant to s59 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014.
Members were informed that the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 gave local authorities the power to make Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) to control behaviours on land to which the public have access, which have caused or may cause a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality and are likely to be on a continuing or persistent nature and are therefore unreasonable.
In the last two years there had been a significant number of wildfires reported and responded to on moorland across Oldham and Tameside.
Between June 2018 and May 2019 Greater Manchester Police received 27 reports of moorland fires across various areas on Saddleworth Moor in Oldham. Some of the reports related to fires which were already being attended to by the emergency services and military personnel, but which had spread, or fires which had previously been extinguished but had re-ignited. During the same period 10 reports were made to police of people having barbecues on the moorland.
The fires caused major loss to the land, the death of wildlife and damage to property. Without any further fires occurring, it was estimated that the land would take at least five years to recover and approximately ten years for the wildlife to return.
Oldham Council and Tameside Council were working together with the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, Greater Manchester Police and United Utilities, who owned a significant portion of the moorland, to develop a response which would prevent and disrupt high risk activities, including lighting of fires, possession and use of barbecues, fireworks, Chinese lanterns and other open flame heat sources upon the moorland.
The potential implementation of Public Spaces Protection Orders, which were enforceable by means of fixed penalty notices or prosecution, had been identified as the most appropriate course of action to respond to the issues and reduce the likelihood of further moorland fires.
Under the provisions of the legislation, prior to the making of a PSPO, a statutory consultation exercise must be undertaken. The consultation exercise had ended on the 5th August 2019.
The Cabinet was informed that, should the Orders be made, both Orders would be identical in order to avoid confusion along the contiguous land border.
RESOLVED that the making of the Public Spaces Protection Order pursuant to s59 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 be approved.
Publication date: 17/09/2019
Date of decision: 16/09/2019
Decided at meeting: 16/09/2019 - Cabinet
Effective from: 25/09/2019